Student Perspectives

Class of 2024

Frances Buntain, Mechanical Engineering

I chose the Stem Path to the MBA program here at the Capstone because it provides a unique learning opportunity. The professors offer valuable insight into the working world, much more than I ever expected to receive from other university professors. They are all awesome mentors and push their students to take advantage of important career-building possibilities. I’ve made close connections with my peers and been able to network with engineering as well as business professionals. Over just one year, this program has developed my leadership skills and encouraged overall student growth. I highly recommend the Stem Path to the MBA for any student looking to join an involved and distinctive path that separates them from fellow students.


Jonathan Stuecker, Aerospace Engineering

The STEM Path to the MBA was one of the primary reasons I chose to attend UA in the first place. I’ve always loved space and the science of flight, but I was also looking for a way to expand my leadership and business skills. The STEM Path to the MBA jumped off the page of UA’s prospective student guide; without it, I may have started looking elsewhere. I love all of the opportunities the program has given me, such as the opportunity to work on my public speaking skills through business pitches and the opportunity to learn from our guest speakers. If you had told me this time last year that I’d have been able to present one of my own business ideas to a group of NASA engineers, my jaw would have hit the floor. As the cherry on top (and it’s a big one), I love the bond that I’ve created with my STEM Path professor (Professor Wright), and I know that that relationship will grow to be one of the most influential in my educational career.


Jack Steinmetz, Mechanical Engineering

The STEM Path to MBA program is much more than a business education. I was initially attracted to the program because I found it incredible that I could obtain my engineering degree and my MBA degree all in 5 years. However, once I began the program, I found it is the people, professors, and the curriculum that really drive the program. With Alabama being such a large university, it is unique to find such a tight-knit community that learns and grows together. Through the program, I have grown as a leader, team member, and communicator. These skills are typically not emphasized in a STEM curriculum, which is why the STEM Path to MBA is such a beneficial asset to my education.

Class of 2023

Madison Cantrell, Chemical Engineering

Choosing to begin the STEM Path to the MBA was a decision I made after I decided to attend UA and began to truly consider what I wanted my engineering career to become. This program became an obvious choice after realizing that I would not be happy only working in math and science and that I wanted to be able to move into management positions and work in collaborative environments. Being in this program has allowed me to learn from and build connections with students with a variety of majors and career goals. In addition, I have been able to further explore my interests and possibilities for future careers through our professors, visiting speakers, and networking with older students. I am confident that this program and degree will help differentiate me upon leaving UA, as I have already seen it in my short time here. Upon seeking roles in research laboratories on-campus this spring, professors were excited to see my involvement in the STEM Path to the MBA and the abilities that I would bring to their teams for collaboration and presentation of results. The skills and connections that I am already building within this program make me excited about my remaining years and encourage younger students to join this unique and rewarding experience.

Class of 2022

Jen Pride, Chemical Engineering

College revolves around community, connections, and growth. The STEM Path to the MBA has provided all three of these for me throughout my college career. Within the program, students and professors have the same goals: differentiating themselves from their peers and continuous personal growth. The community built from having the same professor and sometimes the same students in a classroom for 6 consecutive semesters is one of the main reasons that I have seen so much growth within myself. Not only does the program provide opportunities for academic growth, but also many opportunities outside of the classroom for further personal growth. From attending the European Innovation Academy and working with hundreds of young entrepreneurs from around the world to assisting a successful entrepreneur in developing her idea into a product right here in Tuscaloosa, the opportunities have been endless. I have developed a wide range of skills that I will take with me for the rest of my career because of the STEM Path to the MBA Program.


Chloe Denorme, Mechanical Engineering

Choosing to participate in the STEM Path to the MBA program was one of the best decisions I have made in college. Through the small class sizes and the personalized bond I was able to build with my professor, I have met some of my very best friends. Not only was the STEM Path a huge factor in my social growth, but it also has been integral to my career readiness. In 2018, I got to attend European Innovation Academy, where I created a startup business with a team from 4 different countries in just 15 days. Pitching our idea in front of a panel of venture capitalists and 500+ of my peers gave me the confidence and skills to be a great businesswoman. This experience opened the door to my internship the next summer and continues to create opportunities for me. Adding an MBA to my engineering degree differentiates me from my peers and gives me opportunities to grow that I would never have imagined possible.

Class of 2021

Julian Giakas, Biology

The STEM Path to the MBA has enabled my cultivation and development of critical skills that are intimately connected to the business world. This dynamic educational experience provides the inimitable opportunity for engagement, team-building, and communication development; moreover, it enables my relentless pursuit toward an academic career centered on multiplicity, bolstering my ideals of a well-rounded education. I believe that the STEM Path to the MBA has helped me to acquire the necessary skills to be better prepared to enter the business world by fostering a unique perspective not directly expressed in the normal STEM curriculum. It has allowed me to feel more prepared than ever to enter the professional realm.


Jane Gillette, Aerospace Engineering

Coming into college, I knew that I wanted to be an engineering major because, throughout high school, I’d always been most interested and most skilled in classes involving physics and math. However, I was always hesitant to commit to an engineering career, as I’d worked all throughout high school in retail positions at local businesses, and I’d always loved working with people, interacting with customers, and getting a little look into the business world. I didn’t want to lose that in my future engineering career. So, as soon as I heard about the STEM Path to the MBA program, I knew it was just what I needed. This program is so unique, and it throws together STEM and CREATE students from all disciplines, all learning about business topics that are completely new to us. In addition to the curriculum and all that I’ve learned about business, I’ve learned so many valuable lessons about public speaking, presentations, and communicating with team members that I couldn’t have learned just anywhere else. This program is one-of-a-kind, unique, and incredibly effective in creating well-rounded students.